Rewriting the Discourse of Racial Identity: Towards a Pedagogy and Politics of Whiteness Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • In this article, Henry Giroux places the study of Whiteness in a historical context, recognizing the various modes in which racial identity has been used by conservative ideologues and critical scholars who seek to expand the discussion of race and power. The author also points out the limitations of the current scholarship on Whiteness. Although this scholarship has successfully expanded the study of race to include the study of Whiteness as a historical, cultural, and political construction, it has not shown the liberating potential of deconstructing Whiteness in the public sphere. With an analysis of Dangerous Minds and Suture, two movies with contrasting narratives of race, the author provides an example of the possibilities for critically discussing, in a classroom, the representation of race and ethnicity in the media. Through such a discussion, students of different races and ethnicities can reflect on the representation of themselves and others and the position of Whiteness as the dominant referent. There is a need for Whiteness to be theorized and discussed in a manner that recognizes the potential for criticism, as well as the possibility for White students to recognize their own agency and legitimate place within the struggle for social change and an anti-racist society.

publication date

  • July 1, 1997